Decades ago, a debate over what kind of nation America is roiled the conservative movement.
Neocons claimed America was an “ideological nation” a “creedal nation,” dedicated to the proposition that “all men are created equal.”
Expropriating the biblical mandate, “Go forth and teach all nations!” they divinized democracy and made the conversion of mankind to the democratic faith their mission here on earth.
With his global crusade for democracy, George W. Bush bought into all this. Result: Ashes in our mouths and a series of foreign policy disasters, beginning with Afghanistan and Iraq.
Behind the Trumpian slogan “America First” lay a conviction that, with the Cold War over and the real ideological nation, the USSR, shattered into pieces along ethnic lines, it was time for America to come home.
Contra the neocons, traditionalists argued that, while America was uniquely great, the nation was united by faith, culture, language, history,